Why George Bush is Insane
By Harold Pinter
Press " -- -- - "Earlier this year I had a major
operation for cancer. The operation and its after-effects were
something of a nightmare. I felt I was a man unable to swim
bobbing about under water in a deep dark endless ocean. But I
did not drown and I am very glad to be alive. However, I found
that to emerge from a personal nightmare was to enter an
infinitely more pervasive public nightmare - the nightmare of
American hysteria, ignorance, arrogance, stupidity and
belligerence; the most powerful nation the world has ever known
effectively waging war against the rest of the world. "If you
are not with us you are against us" President Bush has said. He
has also said "We will not allow the world's worst weapons to
remain in the hands of the world's worst leaders". Quite right.
Look in the mirror chum. That's you.
The US is at this moment developing advanced systems of "weapons
of mass destruction" and it prepared to use them where it sees
fit. It has more of them than the rest of the world put
together. It has walked away from international agreements on
biological and chemical weapons, refusing to allow inspection of
its own factories. The hypocrisy behind its public declarations
and its own actions is almost a joke.
The United States believes that the three thousand deaths in New
York are the only deaths that count, the only deaths that
matter. They are American deaths. Other deaths are unreal,
abstract, of no consequence.
The three thousand deaths in Afghanistan are never referred to.
The hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children dead through US and
British sanctions which have deprived them of essential
medicines are never referred to.
The effect of depleted uranium, used by America in the Gulf War,
is never referred to. Radiation levels in Iraq are appallingly
high. Babies are born with no brain, no eyes, no genitals. Where
they do have ears, mouths or rectums, all that issues from these
orifices is blood.
The two hundred thousand deaths in East Timor in 1975 brought
about by the Indonesian government but inspired and supported by
the United States are never referred to.
The half a million deaths in Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador,
Nicaragua, Uruguay, Argentina and Haiti, in actions supported
and subsidised by the United States are never referred to.
The millions of deaths in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are no
longer referred to.
The desperate plight of the Palestinian people, the central
factor in world unrest, is hardly referred to.
But what a misjudgement of the present and what a misreading of
history this is.
People do not forget. They do not forget the death of their
fellows, they do not forget torture and mutilation, they do not
forget injustice, they do not forget oppression, they do not
forget the terrorism of mighty powers. They not only don't
forget. They strike back.
The atrocity in New York was predictable and inevitable. It was
an act of retaliation against constant and systematic
manifestations of state terrorism on the part of the United
States over many years, in all parts of the world.
In Britain the public is now being warned to be "vigilant" in
preparation for potential terrorist acts. The language is in
How will - or can - public vigilance be embodied? Wearing a
scarf over your mouth to keep out poison gas? However, terrorist
attacks are quite likely, the inevitable result of our Prime
Minister's contemptible and shameful subservience to the United
States. Apparently a terrorist poison gas attack on the London
Underground system was recently prevented. But such an act may
indeed take place. Thousands of school children travel on the
London Underground every day. If there is a poison gas attack
from which they die, the responsibility will rest entirely on
the shoulders of our Prime Minister. Needless to say, the Prime
Minister does not travel on the underground himself.
The planned war against Iraq is in fact a plan for premeditated
murder of thousands of civilians in order, apparently, to rescue
them from their dictator.
The United States and Britain are pursuing a course which can
lead only to an escalation of violence throughout the world and
finally to catastrophe.
It is obvious, however, that the United States is bursting at
the seams to attack Iraq. I believe that it will do this - not
just to take control of Iraqi oil - but because the US
administration is now a bloodthirsty wild animal. Bombs are its
only vocabulary. Many Americans, we know, are horrified by the
posture of their government but seem to be helpless.
Unless Europe finds the solidarity, intelligence, courage and
will to challenge and resist US power Europe itself will deserve
Alexander Herzen's definition (as quoted in the Guardian
newspaper in London recently) "We are not the doctors. We are
The article is taken from
an address given by Harold Pinter on receiving an honorary
degree at the University of Turin © Harold Pinter 2002
The Assassinated Press
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